By: Bob Gourley
A visit to Mary's Diner at the El Dorado Casino in Henderson is like a trip down memory lane. Visitors are transported back to the 50's. The recently-remodeled interior is full of period knick knacks that give the space a comfortable feel.
An important part of the theme is the food itself. "Comfort" definitely describes it well with that sentiment running throughout the menu with flavorful choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Blue Plate Specials are served daily from 11 am to 8 pm with a different entrée featured each night for a great price of $7.99. A half rack of succulent BBQ ribs are on tap Saturdays.
They are coated in tangy sauce and delivered with crinkle cut fries and coleslaw. A choice of soup or salad is also included.
On Mondays roast pork comes with mashed potatoes and apple dressing. A bit of Thanksgiving is featured each Sunday with a turkey entrée including spuds and dressing.
Along with the popular Blue Plate specials are Mary's Classics, another nod to an earlier time. Macaroni and Cheese ($6.99) is made with diced ham.
Special recipe meatloaf comes with mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy. Chicken Fried Steak (an endangered species these days) is fried to a golden brown with country gravy.
As if those were not incentive enough to visit, there is still another list of "Supper" items that will remind you of a Midwest farmhouse meal. Pork Chops ($9.99) are grilled to perfection.
Ground Sirloin is smothered in mushrooms, onions and gravy. A hearty T-Bone steak is marinated in garlic and herb oil then broiled to order.
Locals like to talk about the prime rib dinner ($8.99) that is available daily from 2 pm to closing. Any why not? A generous piece of tender and juicy beef is accompanied by a choice of potato, vegetable and soup or salad.
For those who want to dine a little lighter, consider one of four salads. A California Cobb ($8.29) is a tasty collection of diced chicken breast, avocado, bacon, tomato, boiled egg, blue cheese and cheddar over mixed greens. A Chef's edition is front and center with sliced turkey, ham and two types of cheese.
What would an American diner be without burgers? Mary's Classic has all of the trimmings.
An open-sized chili size is topped with chili, cheddar cheese and onions. Other sandwiches to ponder include a Ruben ($6.99) with corned beef, sauerkraut with Swiss cheese and Thousand Island dressing on grilled rye bread. A Philly Cheese Steak is accented with peppers and Swiss cheese.
Why not finish off your meal with an expansive banana split or ice cream sundae? Assorted cakes and pies also dot the landscape.
Breakfast items are plentiful and affordable. The Biscuit and Gravy Skillet ($6.99) features two eggs any style sitting on top of two buttermilk biscuits, home-fried potatoes and two sausage patties. On top is creamy and filling country gravy.
You can also build your own skillet with a variety of choices including toast. American comfort food lives at Mary's Diner.
Mary's Diner, El Dorado Casino is open every day. 140 S. Water St., Henderson (702) 564-1811. www.eldoradocasino.com.